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Legal Affairs Archive

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Wells, Civil Rights Groups Push for Potent D.C. Pot Bill

On Tuesday, the D.C. Council will have a chance to pass what civil rights groups are calling the strongest marijuana decriminalization bill in the country.

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Holder Sees Constitutional Basis for Obama's Executive Actions

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. rebutted Republican accusations that President Barack Obamas use of executive power is unconstitutional during a lengthy Senate oversight hearing Wednesday that touched on policy areas ranging from government surveillance to the dangers of marijuana.

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Lawmakers Take On Carmakers Over Repair Parts

Two weeks ago, automaker Chrysler Group LLC sued parts manufacturer LKQ Corp., seeking damages for what it alleges was infringement on 10 patents for the design of car repair parts.

Working Together to End Gender-Based Violence | Commentary

Weve seen stories about violence against women all over the world: from a student gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi to the teenage girl in Steubenville, Ohio. In 2013, these horrific incidents rightfully provoked a massive public response. They also put pressure on people and governments to change the way we think about violence against women, its causes and ways we can prevent it. While the problem is vast, we know we can solve it.

Pot Politics on the Rise in Congress, Administration

While Congress appears to be a way off from legalizing marijuana, surging public opinion and recent favorable comments from top Democratic lawmakers could inch the federal government in that direction.

Child Welfare System Must Work Better to Help Stop Trafficking of Children | Commentary

It is a sad truth that Americas most deprived children are also among the most vulnerable to human trafficking. But, I speak from experience when I say how important it is to convert sadness into action if these children are to have any chance at a productive life.

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Congress Considers the Balancing Act Between Security and Privacy

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowdens disclosures about the agencys surveillance programs have left Congress stuck between two hugely influential groups: a technology industry thats long been unhappy about forced cooperation with intelligence operations and an intelligence community that says the work is vital to national security.

Telecoms Will Publish Online Privacy Reports

Thanks to federal restrictions, technology companies and communications providers largely have their hands tied when it comes to providing the public with information about how much customer data they turn over to intelligence agencies.

Redskins Name Change Supporters Set Sights on 2014

The Washington Redskins 3-13 record may be forgettable, but one group is calling the 2013 season historic.

The Department of Justice's Last Stand in the Airline Industry -- Did It Blink? | Commentary

While the American public may not be familiar with the intricacies of antitrust policy, they have direct, and painful, experience with the results of over a decade of lax antitrust enforcement in the airline industry: high fares, little competition and increasing ancillary fees that are the product of a hub system that facilitates tacit, if not overt, collusion amongst the legacy carriers. Against that backdrop, the Department of Justices antitrust challenge to American Airlines/US Airways was a breath of fresh air. Finally, we had antitrust enforcement that did not shy away from the tough challenges raised by the increasing consolidation of the airline industry.

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Black Caucus Sees Race as Factor in Filibusters, Eyes Rules Change

The Congressional Black Caucus is fed up with Republican filibusters of President Barack Obamas nominees, which several black lawmakers said they believe are motivated in part by race.

Goodlatte's Patent Bill Is Two Steps Forward, One Back | Commentary

The House Judiciary Committee, led by Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va., is making a well-intentioned play to reform patent litigation by reining in the frivolous and costly lawsuits that all too often act as a roadblock to innovation.

The Roar of Digital Media | Commentary

On Tuesday, the House Judiciarys Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet is scheduled to hold a hearing titled The Rise of Innovative Business Models: Content Delivery Methods in the Digital Age. This is a subject that online distributors of digital content such as music, movies and books know far too well.

High Court Could Weigh In on Contraception

The Supreme Court is expected to decide at a Nov. 26 conference whether to take up one or more of the following cases related to the Obama administrations contraception rule:

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Will the Supreme Court Take On Contraception Coverage Challenge?

While Congress continues to focus on the rocky rollout of the health care overhaul, the Supreme Court is expected to mull over challenges to another piece of the law two days before the justices sit down to their Thanksgiving dinners.

Patent Reform's Unfinished Business | Commentary

Just two years since the enactment of the America Invents Act, the Obama administration and Republicans and Democrats in Congress are calling for further reforms of the patent system. These calls reflect growing bipartisan recognition that innovators are being increasingly harmed by the abusive behavior of patent trolls, also known as patent assertion entities or PAEs.

Military's Sexual Assault Problem Belongs in Prosecutors' Hands | Commentary

Despite recent initiatives by the Defense Department, many victims of military sexual assault tell us they still arent confident that enough is being done to end sexual violence.

Separate and Unequal Education Is Hurting America | Commentary

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court stepped up its scrutiny of race in college access in Fisher v. University of Texas. It once again ignited a national conversation on affirmative action and whether race-conscious quotas have fulfilled their purpose. But are we having the right conversation?

Legal Case on Appointments May Reach Beyond NLRB

Much of the recent uproar over the National Labor Relations Board comes from three recess appointments President Barack Obama made that Republicans have decried as illegal.

Protect Journalism, Not Government-Approved Journalists | Commentary

When the Justice Department admitted to gathering months of records from more than 20 Associated Press telephone lines, it startled average Americans and the established media alike. It was a dangerous overreach by the DOJ, whose powers are strictly limited under its own guidelines for issuing subpoenas to the news media for testimony and evidence.

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